San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Another Bank Robbery, This Time in San José

ONLY a week after a failed bankholdup in the north-central mountaintown of Santa Elena de Monteverdestunned the nation and left nine peopledead, a bloodless – and, so far, successful– robbery took place this week in San José.Unlike the Santa Elena branch ofBanco Nacional, which police say mayhave been chosen because of its isolatedlocation and potentially easy escape intothe mountains (TT, Mar. 11), the branchof the Banco Crédito Agrícola deCartago robbed Wednesday morning islocated across the street from theJudicial Branch complex and a blockfrom the headquarters of the JudicialInvestigation Police (OIJ).According to police sources, threeassailants entered the bank at approximately6:40 a.m. Wednesday, before thebranch opened. The two guards on dutywere bound and gagged, and theassailants then forced manager GuillermoCalderón to open the vault.Police sources estimated ¢11-12 million($23,656-27,957) was stolen.The armed assailants forced the bankmanager to give them his car to facilitatetheir escape said Eugenia Sánchez, securitydirector for the branch.She said police had not yet determinedexactly what kind of firearms theassailants carried.

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